The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
Expert Lagos Police CP Mistook Paintball Gun for “First of its kind” revolver in Nigeria
It was a reverse of expectation from an expected expert, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Ìdòwú Owohunwa, as a popular Newspaper reported that he said the entire Nigeria Police Force is worried over the discovery of gas pistol recovered from a robbery gang in Lagos.
While it is unknown whether the alleged robber is truly one, the gun, which has been reported to have been ‘first of its kind in Nigeria,’ is just a paintball gun that is non-lethal.
The gun, called Spyder Victor, according to an online directory for such revolvers, Paintballadvisors.com is one of the Kingman’s most essential and low-cost paintball guns, yet it stands its own against similar weapons.
With its 20-ounce CO2 tank, the Victor is designed for beginners and intermediate gamers of paintball. In fact, Wikipedia wrote that it is non-lethal.
But Lagos Police CP did not know about this. Even, he thought such a gun is the first of its kind in Nigeria which requires the entire police force to “study” and know “how it came into the country, and why the gang decided to go for the make.”
Whether by knowledge gap or an intentional propaganda, Lagos Police CP has drummed support for misinformation.
Mr Owohunwa who is probably never in the know of the weight his words carry, was boastful to say that “the police would do everything possible to get to the root of the matter.”
The Lagos CP said, he had never seen such a gun since he joined the force.
A X user reacted to the discovery of Mr Owohunwa, saying “Lagos State Commissioner of police on Thursday said that a unique gas gun name SPYDER VICTOR (I don’t know why this gun share a name with me ooo) was recovered from robbers on Eko Bridge. He said that the gun is the first of it kind in Lagos and indeed Nigeria, the Commissioner went ahead to say that the force @PoliceNG is currently studying the gun and investigating how it came into the country. Me: I did a very common reverse image search on this gun, and in less than 2mins I found out that: The gun is called PAINTBALL MARKER.”
FIJ.NG, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that combats injustice, holds power to account and speaks for the voiceless, also reported that “there is nothing unique about the gun discovered by the Lagos police and it is not the first of its kind in the country. Its nozzle, canister and barrel may have been detached to fool unsuspecting road users, but it does not have the lethal capacity to cause panic.
“Owohunwa’s claim that the gun is a unique weapon is misleading. The newspaper’s claim that it is the first of its kind in Nigeria is false.”
PIJAlance found that aside from Paintballadvisors.com, there are other e-commerce websites like Amazon, Yump, Ebay among others which listed Spyder Victor for sale and as a non-lethal weapon.
For avoidance of doubts, Paintball was invented in the early 1980s. It was originally created as a recreational activity in the United States. As for its arrival in Nigeria, paintball likely made its way to the country sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s, following its global popularity. Exact dates for its introduction to Nigeria may vary, but it became a popular recreational sport in various parts of the country over the years.